Case Study — Interactive Impact Report for Seeds of Peace’s 30th Anniversary

Buried Signals Studio
6 min readOct 13, 2023

Seeds of Peace develops courageous leaders who work in solidarity across differences to create more just and inclusive societies. In need of communicating their impact to donors and alumni, the team sought a visual solution for their 30th annual impact report.

During a collaborative Discovery process we determined that the best solution would be to product both a static and a dynamic impact report, addressing the needs of multiple audiences. These report present the latest impact data but also tell a compelling story of the organization’s influence across multiple regions.

Our approach

1. Copywriting guidelines

The project began with the fundamental pillar of communication, copywriting. Relying on Iain Nevill’s support we went through many iterations to meaningfully understand the organization’s impact model and put it into words that would help readers immediately grasp their mission.

We also sought to create recognizable copywriting that could help Seeds of Peace build a memorable identity — using the verb bridging to encapsulate a broad spectrum of impact across people, geography and ideas.

These guidelines ensure consistency in tone and messaging throughout the report, are instrumental in unifying the narrative and defining the visual concept that follows.

2. Impact data analysis

While the copywriting work was in progress, we analysed the data to look at the key messages and impact insights which would need to be communicated to stakeholders.

What are the most important metrics for the story we want to tell? To whom are these data points important? How do we want to explain this data?

Most of the data was qualitative, from an extensive survey sent to over ten thousand alumni. We combined qualitative KPIs with beautiful quotes and images that would put these numbers into context and form a more complete picture of their efforts.

3. Editorial structure

We collaborated on Notion to build a narrative structure that would tell the story of their impact, and the people who are out there achieving it. Using proven narrative structures from journalism, we made minor adjustments and adapted it for out report.

4. Key visual and art direction

Once the copywriting manifesto, guidelines and narrative structure were in place we could begin visual experimentation.

This began with art direction, repurposing the organization's existing guidelines and adjusting them for the occasion. We used the key concepts from the copywriting sprint to find graphic representations of Seeds of Peace's impact models. Defining color schemes, typography, and layout guidelines for the entire project.

Once the art direction was approved we could begin illustrating a key visual which would be used to quickly and efficiently explain their mission statement. The visual needed to be tangible enough that it wouldn't seem childish, but also not too realistic that readers might try to assign it an actual location and misinterpret the the intention.

The final result encapsulates the essence of Seeds of Peace's activities in conflict areas, bridging individuals across lines of difference. The visual was animated for use on social media and as a hero element in the dynamic report.

5. Cartography

We then began the process of mapping the data on different tools. The survey only provided cities of the alumni (also for security reasons) so we used a geocoding API to produce coordinates for all 10,000 rows of the database.

To avoid clustering the markers on the same locations we also set a random offset that would populate the map more visibly. The original data was cleaned, geocoded, and adapted to GeoJSON for integration into this data into Mapbox and Flourish where we used different visualisations (heatmap, camera travelling) to show the spread and impact of the alumni.

6. Design of the static and dynamic reports

We then crafted the dual-format report. Beginning with the static version as a beautifully designed PDF for traditional stakeholders like donors, who might receive the report as an email attachment. We used high quality exports from the mapping software and adapted the design so that even without camera movement and animation they would have the full story.

These designs were then adapted for the dynamic version, with minor structural modifications, the goal of this version is to re-engage alumni and bring a renewed sense of community and purpose to their network.

7. Webflow development

Most of our development is now handled on Webflow, enabling us to bring the cost down for our clients — often non-profits and media organisations. Webflow helps us build faster with responsiveness as a priority, it reduces maintenance costs, eliminates the risk of outdated third-party libraries and increases editingflexibility for clients.

The project can now be duplicated in a few years, with minor adaptations we'll be able to deliver a new report on the foundation of the first — for a tenth the price.

8. Campaign assets

To maximize the reach of the campaign and the report we produced a series of shareable social media assets that summarised the key points and moments of the report — our objective was to create a standalone impact story that would give audiences the ability to grasp the key messages in a few seconds.

For those who were curious to have the full picture, the dynamic report provides unique value and a pleasant experience to boot — unlike a poorly designed PDF.

A concise one-pager was also created for stakeholders who needed a quick overview, in a printable format for events.

Conclusion

Given the current geopolitical situation in Israel-Gaza, the impact campaign will begin in a few weeks in the hopes that the current conflict will end. Our hope is that it will help drive support for the organization to continue it's efforts in peace-building in the region, now more than ever these bridges are needed.

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Buried Signals Studio

Data-driven storytelling magazine and production studio.